The Importance of Mission Russia

By Daniel R. DePetris

Can the United States and Russia stabilize a bilateral relationship at its lowest point since the early 1980s? This is not a hypothetical question, and it is of the utmost importance given the state of relations between the two nuclear giants.

Jon Huntsman’s resignation as the U.S. ambassador to Moscow on August 5 leaves Washington without a permanent, experienced diplomat at the table. Fortunately, reports that Stephen Biegun—the Trump administration’s special representative to North Korea—could be nominated as America’s top diplomat in the Russian capital suggests President Trump recognizes the importance of finding a replacement quickly. A former Russia hand on the National Security Council, Biegun could be a good, pragmatic choice if the administration at large is willing to focus on incremental, confidence-building steps with the Russians that slowly turn the relationship around.

This piece was originally published by Real Clear Defense on August 24, 2019. Read more HERE.